Perfection is fabricated in media images and programs claiming to have the answers for what you are looking for – the ideal body, flawless skin, endless motivation, ultimate strength, power, and success!
Most of us know logically that perfection is a myth. Yet, we are lured to believe that somewhere out there is what we are looking for to finally have it all together. We are bombarded with images and messages that the perfect body, the perfect life is possible and that the program, formula, or plan is right at our fingertips. We are told that this is the answer to all our “problems.”
One myth here is that life is static. That once we get it all together, it will stay together. The truth is life is dynamic. The only certainty is change. Perfection is a momentary state, not a lifestyle.
The other myth is that we are a problem to fix, a “hot mess” that needs cleaning up. By nature, we will focus on problems because the brain has a negativity bias. This is what the brain does to keep us safe – it constantly searches for threats to our safety, contentment, and connection. Expect to find problems in yourself, in others, and in life – it’s normal and is not going away.
In fact, finding faults is an important part of being well now. The key is staying aware of when the brain is looking for problems in the past and future that are not based in the reality of now. The brain is an “experience simulator.” It can conjure up the worst-case scenarios in the future, see the problems in the present, and recall past mistakes in a nano-second! If we don’t know that our thoughts are not reality, these simulated experiences can seem like a real problem we need to fix right now.
Add the photo-shopped images and messages about perfection all around us and we have a perfect storm for discontent. We have all the ingredients for putting off being well until we can finally fix these “problems.”
How do we calm the storm?
- Awareness: of what is real, right here, right now, so we can respond with calm rather than react to what is imagined.
- Gratitude: to shift the brain out of the negativity bias.
- Kindness: so we remember we are okay now, and stop the chase for the perfect body, the perfect life.
- Mindful movement: because it is the antidote to guilt, worry, and discontent, rather using exercise as a means of suffering now in order to be well…someday.
The great news that the brain can change and these resource become easier to access when the storm arises. We can learn how, in the midst of imperfection, to be well now!